Quinoa – The Super Grain!

With February being heart-healthy month, it makes sense to talk about what foods to eat for a healthy heart. Everyone else is, right? There are a whole boat-load of recipes out there but I want to suggest you try one that’s a little more out of the ordinary…Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah). I’m sure I’m not the only one who mispronounced it the first time 🙂

Quinoa is a superfood, although I’m not sure if it made the official list yet but it has my vote. It’s a grain that packs a ton of protein – more than any other grain. It contains as almost as many amino acids as meat does and it’s loaded with more vitamin E, calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium that other grains. The heart-healthy kick comes from all of the insoluble fiber is has along with some mono & polyunsaturated fat – the good kind! This means it will fill you up and keep you running smoothly. Because of these wonderful nutrients it battles not only heart disease, but cancer, diabetes and stroke, and gives your immune & digestive system a boost. My favorite thing about it is that it really fills me up without being heavy.

How do you cook it? Pretty much the same as you would cook rice and it’s more versatile. It comes in flavors too. Use it with sauteed veggies, toss it in soup or put a scoop in your salad. You can add dried fruit to it for a sweeter flavor to balance it’s nutty flavor. You can also make burgers out of it…or at least cut our some of the meat by mixing it in.

If you’re new to Quinoa then get the regular flavored kind (Trader Joe’s makes a good one) and toss in some veggies & chicken for a nice stir fry, then experiment from there.

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